The average minimum temperature in March has risen by 1.8 degrees Celsius in 100 years in Bangalore

The State just saw its hottest March in years with soaring temperatures breaking records in all meteorological zones.

At 38 degrees Celsius, Chitradurga on March 31 witnessed its hottest day in March in nine years; Bellary saw a maximum of 41 degrees Celsius on March 30, the hottest day in seven years; Mangalore recorded 37.4 degrees Celsius on March 17, the hottest day in March in five years, and Belgaum saw its hottest day in nine years on March 30, when it recorded 37.8 degrees Celsius.

In Bangalore, where the temperature touched 36 degrees Celsius last month, data revealed a steady rise in temperatures in March over the years.

The average minimum temperature in March had risen by 1.8 degrees Celsius in 100 years in Bangalore, J. Srinivasan, chairman, Divecha Centre for Climate Change, Indian Institute of Science, told The Hindu.

He attributed this to both climate change and ‘local heat island effect’ caused by land use change. “However, high temperatures in a single year cannot be used to hypothesise about climate change,” he said.

Mercury is set to climb in the coming weeks, and will likely include heat waves in parts of the State, according to the Meteorological Centre. During elections, temperatures could well hover between 37 degrees Celsius and 42 degrees Celsius in most parts of the State, predicted B. Puttanna, director of the Meteorological Centre. April was the hottest month of the year across the State, with temperatures often crossing 37 degrees Celsius in Bangalore, he said. “The days get longer, radiation increases and the land is intensely heated.”

Hailstorms

Ironically, in parts of northern Karnataka — in Gulbarga, Bidar and Bijapur in particular — the temperature spike was preceded by a fortnight of hailstorms in early March, he said.

“This was an unusual phenomenon. Hailstorms this time of the year are common, but their duration is never more than two or three days,” said Mr. Puttanna. This year, hailstorms were recorded between February 26 and March 12.

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